Character Contemplations 4: De-Frosta (Dark Blast/Thermal Radiation Corruptor)

De-Frosta in the Sky with Diamonds Dark side, new healer. Having seen the villainous versions of heroes sprouting, I made my own. A Corruptor, I thought, could be the best of all possible things. You get the support that I love from Defenders but the damage that Frosta brought me. As it turns out, all their numbers are fairly lousy, but it sounds nice in the abstract.

De-Frosta. Give her Thermal Radiation so that she has fire. Frosta was blue and white, so we want red and black here, and black gives us Dark Blast. This will be a different sort of healer, one with a little more kick, but with the extra damage prevention that Dark Blast provides. On the whole, a useful but not terribly fun character.

This is another character who works much better in teams. Half her secondary cannot benefit her without teammates, and she deals good but not excellent damage.

Dark Blast

Dark Blast is the most defensive blast set. Its damage is not great, but it reduces incoming damage. The attacks have a built-in accuracy debuff, so fewer attacks hit. Your AE options include immobilize, stun, and knockback. You take fewer hits.

The best attacks are damage-over-time. The DoTs have the best numbers, but your teammates might take out the target before the attack finishes ticking. Of course, being team-focused means being AE focused. When I have the time to attack, I shoot indiscriminately into a crowd and hope for the best. Hey, I’m a villain.

My favorite attack is Gloom, a fast-acting DoT with good damage. Its little brother is your standard single-shot little attack. For more single-target damage, you cannot beat getting a snipe at level 2. Sadly, the damage/hp scales are odd, so a Moonbeam that one-shots enemies at level 3 takes half their health at level 33. Bother. I skipped the tiny health drain, because I have a better heal.

Kicking it anime style Dark Blast does have nice area effect options. The disorient never did enough for my pleasure, but it comes with three cones. The immobilize tentacles are my favorite, making the enemy stand still (also, our anime-loving Teamspeak friends make inappropriate comments). Another cone is just standard damage. The third includes a knockback, so I have never taken it.

And, of course, nuke. We are on my fourth Character Contemplations, and every character has a nuke. Can you tell that I like those? Dark is the standard, with a large accuracy debuff as its secondary effect.

As a support character, Dark Blast has been great. It does exactly what I need it to do. As a damage dealer, it is unexceptional.

Thermal Radiation

This is the villains equivalent of Empathy, with some significant changes. Why did I take villain Empathy if I said I would not do hero Empathy over again? Good question. Habit? Also, this one has some interesting effects.

I heal you with FIRE.  I also buff and debuff with FIRE.  I am consistent. You get the standard pair of heals: Aura and Other. You do not get Empathy values, but that might be because of the Corruptor modifier (lower values on every power). It is the only single-target ranged heal on the villains side, so this can be useful. There is no Absorb Pain: we are villains.

Instead, the buffs come early. Thermal Corruptors get fire shields that pair to protect against the six usual damage types. They do not give the Fire Tanks’ status protection, nor can you use them on yourself. Thaw is the counterpart to Clear Mind: less complete but providing some other little forms of protection.

Your final way of setting your friends on fire is with Forge, which is a nice accuracy and damage buff. It has none of Fortitude’s defense, but it gives more offense. Welcome to villainy. The assorted powers set people afire slightly differently, so they can have two colors of fire aura, flaming heads, and flaming hands. Then we heal them with green fire. Fire solves all our problems.

You can also set your friends’ corpses on fire, which is a rez. It is also an auto-hit attack with knockback, so that will clear the body. Villains rise like the phoenix.

We heal, rez, and buff by setting people on fire — we also debuff by setting people on fire. One debuff lowers the enemies’ defense and resistance, making them easier to take down. The other is a single-target that I mostly use on archvillains, heroes, and tough bosses. Most enemies drop too quickly to worry about single-target debuffs, and those who do not need all the debuffs they can get.

This set can be hard on graphics cards. That is a lot of fire, and the sound effects can be horrid when you have several people constantly giving off a whoosh of flames.

On the play side, resistance buffs complement healing very well. Dark Blast reduces the number of hits, the shields reduce the size of the hits, and the heals fill people back up. It works.

Scourge

Corruptors kick you while you’re down. They have one of the more straightforward inherent powers: a chance for double damage against wounded targets. This is often wasted, as a minion with 5 hit points is dropping whether or not you crit. A hero with half hit points, however, will give you many chances to double your damage.

Having a great deal of DoT-based damage, Scourge is particularly helpful. If I can drop that enemy two ticks sooner, he may not get another attack. I have never checked whether my area effect DoTs will start hitting more targets if one of the original targets drops. Best of all, AE DoTs produce lots of little numbers, which Scourge can double. On a good AE attack, there are dozens of orange numbers and SCOURGEs floating above the enemy pack. It is a good feeling.

Pool Powers

Shes not heavy shes my patron As anti-Frosta, she flies. She also has Fitness and her full patron pool (Ghost Widow). The patron pet is amusing, and one of the better ones, but unexceptional. Ghost Widow’s Hold, however, is very nice.

Playstyle

I have said before that I like the Corruptor playstyle. Like Kinetics, it gives you active offense along with support. Thermal buffs can be a bother to keep going, but this build combines healing, buffing, debuffing, damage, and weak crowd control. I can snipe for long-range damage, use multiple AE attacks, or conserve energy with efficient attacks. De-Frosta has options.

The patron pet is nice with Thermal because it lets me use more powers while solo. Half my secondary powers are useless without an ally to buff, so summoning an ally even 1/4 of the time helps solo play.

Me and the big guy I do not solo much with this character. I put more emphasis on support than damage. Start the mission with a round of shields, with Forge on a damage dealer (if someone is lower level, he gets it for the accuracy bonus); pre-Thaw other support villains if stuns seem likely. Otherwise, use healing and anti-CC to keep the team going as we engage enemies, re-applying the shields every few minutes.

A common fight might start with a Brute rushing in. Cauterize his wounds from the alpha strike, then throw a thermal debuff and both AE dark cones. Use hold on a lieutenant, or on a boss if the team has one Dominator. Other people will be hurt by now, so follow with heals while attacks recharge. If everyone is fine, use single-target blasts to bayonet the wounded.

When reasonable, use the other fun toys like the AV debuff, the patron self-buff to damage, and the nuke. If all else fails, use the explosive rez.

Other Build Notes

I am thinking of getting rid of the pet in favor of Dark Pit (the AE stun). It is not a long-lasting stun, but it is useful more than 1/4 of the time. I do not solo much anyway.

I miss having pool powers. De-Frosta has only the basics: one movement and Fitness. Frosta, contrarily, has two movement powers, Fitness, and Recall Friend. Frosta also has a half-lousy secondary with some really great powers, whereas De-Frosta has a generally even secondary with good but not earthshattering powers. De-Frosta has all nine secondary powers, which restricts other options.

Parked

Did I mention that when you are the healer there is no one there to heal you We have not been playing villains much lately. That may change a bit, as at least one guildmate has run out of slots and of heroes below the level cap. Instead, we have been playing newer heroes on another server, which is slightly weird but we have been in a heroes mood after a year-plus of villainy. We may abandon heroics yet.

Support is odd on the villains side. Corruptors are absolutely necessary, the real support class with no Controllers to fill in. Masterminds also have support secondaries, but not the best ones. Masterminds are also considered mostly useless on the Lord Recluse Task Force, particularly in the big fight against the Freedom Phalanx, so that falls to Corruptors. We see a lot of */Kinetics and */Radiation Emission Corruptors and */Dark Miasma Masterminds: all three have debuffs and an AE heal, arguably the best support powers for their respective archetypes.

As I hate people who oppose Speed Boost, I hate people who oppose my shields. Sadly, it is not their fault. Some graphics cards simply cannot handle fire shields. It is not as bad as a bug that (used to?) plague Cold Domination Corruptors, whereby zoning with shields could lead to massive play degradation that built to crashes. Oh well, yay resistance boosts.

Conclusion

The powers of the underworld serve me This is a better sort of healer to play than an Empath, with some similarities in powers but a vastly different style. De-Frosta does less to refill the blue and green bars, more to keep the green bar from dropping too much. Part of that is making the good guys fall down, because a defeated hero is not doing any damage.

As with Empathy, there are times when you really want a targeted single-target heal. Since City of Villains is far less built around the holy trinity, there is less single-target tanking. In the City of Hybrid Damage Dealers, your healer is a blaster even from the lowest levels.

Never depend on healing from someone whose primary power pool is offensive. I mentioned before that, as the only support character on a team, there is no one to support you when things go wrong. If I am with friends I trust to back me up, I can play support; if I am on a pick-up team, “I can also heal, yes.” Sometimes De-Frosta just wants to send black bolts at helpless foes that are caught in her grasping tentacles, and watch out for your own backside.

Up up and away : Zubon

Character Contemplations 1: Frosta
Character Contemplations 2: Zubon
Character Contemplations 3: Assimilation
Character Contemplations 4: De-Frosta
Character Contemplations 5: Fluffy Bunnies
Character Contemplations 6: Furious Badger
Character Contemplations 7: Sightblinder
Character Contemplations 8: Zapato Conqueso

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